The world’s most powerful search engine loves to celebrate April Fool’s Day. It has been an annual tradition for Google to put together some of the most creative and memorable hoaxes. Whether it’s the Manpower Search system, MentalPlex or Translate for Animals BETA, the people behind Google continue to prove every year that they can be extremely funny. Here are some of their best April jokes:
10. Manpower Search
Google China launched in 2008 Manpower Search, a feature that involved human participation in order to produce trustworthy and relevant search results. The system was powered by 25 million Chinese volunteers who did the searching 24/7. The great part was that volunteers had access to both online resources and paper documents. The users were expected to get Google’s search results within 32 seconds. Google China required those who wanted to volunteer to submit their resumes to the Human Search Volunteers Authority. It sounded too good to be true 🙂
In 2008 Google China launched Manpower Search, a feature that involved human participation in order to produce trustworthy and relevant search results. The system was powered by 25 million Chinese volunteers who did the searching 24/7. The great part was that volunteers had access to both online resources and paper documents. The users were expected to get Google’s search results within 32 seconds. Google China required those who wanted to volunteer to submit their resumes to the Human Search Volunteers Authority. It sounded too good to be true 🙂
9. Google TiSP – Toilet Internet Service Provider
2007 was the year when Google introduced TiSP (BETA), a free in-home wireless broadband service. People who signed up right away had to receive their own TiSP self-installation kit, which included installation CD, fiber-optic cable, wireless router, spindle and a setup guide. The innovative system used toilet GFlush™ technology and provided wireless access by connecting the client’s TiSP wireless router “to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through local municipal sewage lines”, according to Google. The FAQ section was hilarious. One of the questions was the following: how can Google offer this service for free? Well…Google’s strategy was to analyze your poop and display online ads that were contextually relevant to the client’s health status and culinary preferences. Good joke, Google!
Installing TiSP was kind of gross. You had to attach the sinker to the loose end of the fiber-optic cable and drop the weighted end into the toilet. The next step was to grasp both ends of the spindle while flushing. Curious how it looks like in practice? Check out the next installation steps.
8. CADIE – Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence
Google unveiled in 2009 CADIE, the world’s first artificial intelligence entity. The Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity claimed to be a great artificial intelligence system. CADIE was able to scan, read the user’s incoming emails and send an impeccable reply, all without human intervention. Gmail AutopilotTM by CADIE is my favorite. The above displays one of my favorite responses. Here are some more
CADIE also introduced Google Brain Search for Mobile, enabled Google Chrome for 3-D glasses use and developed a must have Picasa feature to add red-eye to your photos. Right on trend… If you want to learn more about CADIE, visit her blog or YouTube channel.
Nobody knows what the future holds, except for God…and Google. Google Australia developed in 2008 a revolutionary beta search technology that allowed users to search web pages 24 hours before they were created. MATE stands for Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation and was the core technology behind gDay. It was able to predict anything on the web: tomorrow’s lotto numbers, share price movements, sports results etc.
6. Pigeon Rank
When the search engine was created, one key innovation was PageRank or PR, a technology that determines the relevance and importance of a webpage. The PR varies from 1 to 10. As most of us know, the system for ranking web pages was developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google revealed in 2002 that the technology behind its PageRank algorithm is actually PigeonRank. “PigeonRank’s success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages,” announced Google. The higher the value of pigeon pecks, the higher the numeric value of PigeonRank. So, the web pages that get most of the pecks get ranked at the top of the search engine for certain keywords.
5. Google Romance
Which was Google’s conclusion in 2006? That love is just another search problem. And they have thought about it. A lot. And Google Romance™ was the solution they came up with. The free dating service allowed its users to post all types of romantic information and search for love. By using Soulmate Search™, the search engine’s task was to return only those results that theoretically included the user’s soulmate. The next step was the best part: a Contextual DateTM entirely paid by Google. Couples simply had to agree to experience contextually relevant advertising while dating. The slogan of the psychographic matchmaking service was Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google and…you’ll live happily, and contextually, ever after!
4. Google Gulp
A revolutionary line of soft drinks – designed to maximize the user’s surfing efficiency – hit the beverage industry in 2005. Google announced a new product rollout, Google Gulp! According to the company, Google Gulp was making its users more intelligent, and less thirsty. The drink was available in four delicious flavors: Beta Carroty (beta carotene), Glutamate Grape (glutamic acid), Sero-Tonic Water (serotonin) and Sugar-Free Radical (free radicals).
“Think a DNA scanner embedded in the lip of your bottle reading all 3 gigabytes of your base pair genetic data in a fraction of a second, fine-tuning your individual hormonal cocktail in real time using our patented Auto-Drink™ technology, and slamming a truckload of electrolytic neurotransmitter smart-drug stimulants past the blood-brain barrier to achieve maximum optimization of your soon-to-be-grateful cerebral cortex,” wrote Google.
3. Google MentalPix
Did you know that way back in 2000 users were able to search faster and smarter thanks to Google’s MentalPlexTM? MentalPlex was an innovative search technology based on proprietary predictive search algorithms. The research and development team worked tirelessly for 13 years to develop MentalPlex and closely collaborated with some of the most reputable PhDs in the fields of parapsychology, artificial & pseudo-intelligence, and improbability.
MentalPlex was the only search engine capable of returning search results without requiring its users to enter a query. It supposedly ‘read’ the users’ mind to find out what they wanted to search for. Here are the instructions the users had to follow: they had to safely remove glasses and hat, but facial hair, earrings and makeup were ok. The next steps were to focus on the MentalPlex spiral and to mentally project the image of what they wanted to search for.
2. Translate for Animals, BETA
The last year’s April Fool’s joke was really funny! Many people were tricked into believing that Google finally created the world’s first animal translation system. Translate for Animals was an Android application that helped people better communicate with their pets. It translated animal sounds into human speech. The supported animals were cat, dog, hamster, tortoise, horse, sheep, donkey, bird, rabbit, guinea pig, chicken, and pig.
1. Google Copernicus Center
Google posted in 2004 a fake job listing seeking for highly-qualified engineers willing to relocate. They had to be capable of surviving with restricted access to modern conveniences such as The Sopranos, low fat soy lattes and stable supplies of oxygen. The Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.), a lunar hosting and research center, had to be ready for opening in 2007.
Some of the candidates’ questions were: What happens to PageRank in the proximity of a black hole? Does spam go on forever? Exactly how far does the Worldwide web extend? Can it become an interplanetary utility? Great April Fool’s joke!
Although Google didn’t conquer the moon and there are no job openings at G.C.H.E.E.S.E, the American corporation is sponsoring the Lunar X-Prize. $30 million in prizes are awarded to the first privately funded teams able to effectively land a robot on the Moon.